A day after his arrest from a village in Mathura, the 32-year-old Uber cab driver accused of raping a customer was produced before a packed Tis Hazari court amid tight security on Monday.
Amid a dozen lawyers and curious onlookers who were present in the open court Metropolitan Magistrate Ambika Singh, sent the accused Shiv Kumar Yadav to three days’ police custody — till December 11. “For thorough investigation, the presence of the accused is required. It is in the interest of justice and for the investigation to lead to its logical conclusion, the accused be sent to three day police custody,” the Metropolitan Magistrate said.
After the order, the drama moved outside the courtroom as Yadav was taken to the police vehicle barefaced. A crowd of angry protesters from different groups, who had rallied outside the court premises, shouted slogans and obstructed police.
During the 30-minute long proceeding, the Delhi Police moved an application seeking Test Identification Parade (TIP) of the accused. “Do you want to undergo TIP,” the judge to Yadav. But Yadav objected and said, “There is no requirement for TIP. My company has my photo identity. The same shall be used for my identification.”
However, the judge rebutting said, “Are sure about declining the TIP. This could be to your disadvantage, if and when the court initiates proceedings.”
Unmoved by the court’s rebuttal, the accused answered in negative. The public prosecutor then moved an application for three days’ police custody for the accused. Seeking police custody, the Investigating Officer (IO) told the court that Yadav, in his disclosure statement, has said he can help police recover the mobile phone that he used during the incident.
“The mobile that was used during the investigation has not been found. He said he will help us recover it. It is a crucial part of the evidence,” the IO said.
The prosecution also said questioning Yadav in custody was needed to get details of the alleged incident. “We need to question him for details of the incident. We need particular details on the recovered vehicle, the journey he made after the incident and the recovery of the mobile phone,” the IO said.
However, the counsel for the accused opposed the police custody, claiming that Yadav could be tortured in custody.
“Police said it has recovered the vehicle and taken the victim’s statement. They can confront Yadav with the evidence even in a judicial custody. I apprehend that he might be subjected to torture during the police custody,” the counsel said. The court, however, rejected his plea.